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No Idea Records

Record Reviews

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Below are some recently posted reviews.

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Ibland Kam Man Inte Hindra Sig Sjalv: CD
Crank this up and kick some furniture over. Raging hardcore from Sweden with a massive dose of rock to make this blaze out of control. Nitad are loud, in your face, and it’s a great thing. The songs are fast paced, the rhythm section rumbles, guitars are loud, slightly jangly, and the singer bellows. Nitad are easily one of the best bands going these days, and this collection is a must-have. Think I’m kidding? Get this and hear for yourself. Then send me a thank you note care of Razorcake for hepping you to this chunk of auditory awesomeness. This disc also collects their Varlden Måsten Do EP, material from the split with Kvoteringen, Ge Oss Mer EP, a comp track, and the 2006 demo. –Matt Average (Kranium)

All Rise: LP
There’s something about the way so many of their songs start in the middle and extrapolate outwards that will always make them both interesting and inspiring. I think this is important because it signifies that there was already a conversation going that they were dead set on continuing with an urgency that can’t be understated. Disclaimer: I went to see Naked Raygun for the first time last year with a friend, but the Arrivals and Tiltwheel opened up for them and by the time Naked Raygun took the stage I was about ten thousand light years beyond wasted and streaking toward darkness. Six months later, my friend put this gorgeous milky vinyl reissue in my hands. Holy Fucking Shit. –Jim Ruland (Haunted)

Self-titled: 7”
I’m not sure if Sweden’s Murder By Guitar has ever given England’s Gordan Gano’s Army a listen, but they both seem to share an effortlessness approach to their songs. Not like they wish they were doing something else, but it sounds like they could be doing ten other tasks while they belt ‘em out and no one would be any wiser. Maybe it’s the fact that the songs, musicianship, and recording are top notch or maybe they actually are playing with their tongue and I am none the wiser. Either way, this is some splendid, jangly ‘60s pop rock that has as many hooks and soul-melting guitar leads as you can fit on a three-song 7”. –Daryl Gussin (Alien Snatch)

Self-titled: CD
Yes, a reissue of one of the best albums on the 1990s! A long-lost classic from one of the most overlooked bands of the past coupla decades. Most of that is due to the glam punk tag and the fact this was produced by Sylvain of the New York Dolls. This would lead most to believe that this sounds like something that it is not. For the most part, this disc is chock fulla Cramps/Beasts Of Bourbon/Gun Club/Scientists style rock and is as good as any of those bands. There is the occasional nod to Johnny and Syl and the odd veer into solo Iggy territory, but, for the most part, this is killer bluesy garage rock at its finest. This reissue includes nine bonus tracks, including the ripping first single. There is also a bonus DVD of live and studio performances. This is an impressive package. Highest possible recommendation! –Mike Frame (Nickel And Dime)

Split: 7"
Delay: The only band I know of that makes me wish I was young. And I don’t mean quasi-college years young, or even high school young. I mean like thirteen. When you first started to realize the world was fucked up, and you wanted to do something about it. Songs about snow days and how fucked up movies are, and how love was supposed to be something new that would save you from your generic state and give you real meaning. And then looking back at it, and realizing how wrong and sad we ended up making it all. These are easily the three best songs Delay has done, and that says a lot. Monikers: While Delay makes every word count, Monikers contribute an overall feeling that gives these songs a tone of helplessness and hope at the same time. Every time I hear a new Monikers song I’m shocked, because their songs are so simple and catchy, but they somehow manage not to retread any ground. My only complaint would be the group yelling in the background of these songs. I’m glad that they had fun with the recording, and it could have come out totally fun if done right, but, particularly on the last song, it’s a bit distracting. I wish they would have exercised a bit of restraint in that area, because I really want to love these songs, too. –Nick Toerner –Guest Contributor (Kiss Of Death)

Sludgemouth: CD
I puked a little bit in the back of my mouth and I swear my testicle tried to climb back up into my body when this came on. It’s that bad, as in mentally and physically painful, to listen to. –Ty Stranglehold (www.mdub.com)

Songs about People… and Fruit n’ Shit: 12”EP
Sometimes, I feel like crying at the overwhelming beauty that’s capable of showing itself amongst so much bleakness. Songs have been helping dissolve some of the sandbags in my stomach lately; have shored up my faith that I’m not going to drown in the landslide I feel I’m caught up in. It’s a measure of faith, and I have a ton in The Measure [SA]. They’re like a bunch of friends all coming over at once, unexpectedly, all with their own forms of good advice, all with fun and interesting things on their minds, playing songs with more and more confidence in who they are, separately and together as a group. I’ve been a fan of the band from the get-go and they keep on getting better and better. If you like songs about romance that cover people, places, DIY culture, ideas, and times, a romance that goes beyond simply plotted story lines or beyond solely between two people, I suggest you play this 12” so you can feel the bass through your feet, read along to lyrics, and soak it all in. –Todd Taylor (Don Giovanni)

Vår Del Av Stan: LP
For anyone who’s unaware, Sweden’s Masshysteri rose from the rubble of one of the best punk rock bands of the last few years, The Vicious. A bit of an instrument shuffle, an even heartier helping of Robert and Sara’s dual vocals, and a debut 7” later and we’ve arrived at Masshyteri’s first full length offering. This record is, pretty simply, fucking amazing. The obvious Wipers/Misfits worship of The Vicious is much less apparent in Masshysteri’s songs. The tracks on Vår Del Av Stan are of a more stripped down pop formula while incorporating a wider array of styles and influences into the approach. The choruses are incredibly memorable and have me singing along constantly in my best (read: terrible) syllabic attempt at Swedish. Essentially, what you’ve got here are eleven dark-yet-upbeat pop punk rockers that I really feel should appeal to basement dwellers worldwide, regardless of which subgenre you might call home. The songwriting and sincerity in these songs is universal, a characteristic you’ll find is a constant in the Ny Vag collective. There’s something truly special going on there. –Dave Williams (Ny Vag, www.nyvag.com)

“Fortune” b/w “Like Robots”: 7”
When so much rightness is staring you in the face for years on end, one reaction may to be to take a band for granted. Thankfully, for those of us who find a true solace in great, current music, I’ve not only looked forward to, but then have cherished the Marked Men’s output over the years. Their sound has developed from a “sounds like great band X mixed with great band Z,” to rising up to one of the bands at the top of the pyramid. They defined one of the best possible scenarios for DIY punk. Musically, the Marked Men change the weather around them; their songs aren’t going anywhere, except round and round on turntables the globe over. And they broke up. There’s a forthcoming record, and it’s my suggestion that—if it’s within your means—to seek out their entire catalog. Here are two more great songs in a long, threaded string of firecrackers that’ve pop-pop-popped without a dud in the bunch. This is my gold fever. This is what gives me irrational behavior. It’s so good and I’m so stoked that I have it my possession so I can listen to it whenever the mood hits. –Todd Taylor (Dirtnap)

Holemole: LP w/CD
First off, it’s pronounced “O-lay Mole-ay” and the album title is pronounced “Hole-ay Mole-ay”. Kind of stupid, I know, but, thankfully, the music makes up for it. Their sound is a mix of Hot Water Music and Red Animal War (especially on the vocals). It includes members of Burial Year and the Ghost and was recorded by one of the dudes from American Steel. The LP (in your choice of white or clear red) comes with the CD. The first track, “Gatekeeper,” isn’t necessarily the best song to start out with, as the singing vocals just sound silly after the fierce yelling with which it contrasts. And “Treble Hook” has a really annoying guitar part that it keeps coming back to. But beyond those two weaker tracks, there’s a good intensity and passion that comes from this band, the kind where you can tell they’re excited to be doing what they’re doing and believe in it. It’s been hard to figure the lyrics out. They require some thinking and I get a feel here and there about where they stand on things. From what I can tell, they like to question the traditional order of authority and the traditional order of things, and as someone who has been doing that a lot in my life lately, I can totally get behind that. –Kurt Morris (Underground Communique)

Jeg Kendte Dem Ikke: 7” EP
Armed with the switchblade knife he holds on the record sleeve, and, I’m assuming, an enormous bottle of Gammel Dansk, P.J. Bonneman slashes through three great-sounding home recordings on this debut, solo, 33 rpm 7” EP. “Fri Kaerlighed” is a lively piece of aggressive, lo-fi, Rezillos power pop sung in Danglish. I’m not exactly sure what the song is about—I don’t understand Danish and there’s not a whole lot of English to be heard—but I definitely hear a “fuckin’ hippy” in there towards the end of the song and that’s a sentiment that everyone should be able to get behind. “Hey Ronni” is the musical equivalent of taking a stroll through the countryside with your sweetheart on a Sunday afternoon. Clad in a leather jacket and shod with black Chuck Taylors, of course. The melody could have easily been written by King Louie for the Exploding Hearts and the lazy guitar riff will linger in your head long after the song is over. This tune could brighten the day of even the most stoic, hard-assed Scandinavian. While the A-side will appeal to popsters, the flip side is ass-kickingly TOUGH!”Jeg Kendte Dem Ikke” has an unrelenting beat and lyrics that are snarled more than sung. Bonneman has a real knack for writing a tune and moves between genres effortlessly. –Josh Benke (Spild Af Vinyl, www.spildafvinyl.dk)

Livin’ at the Surf Motel: 7” EP
If the Beach Boys had listened to what the voices in their heads and the drugs had been telling them to do, rather than their manager/father and record label they would still have to pray to be as good as The Pegs. Southern California surf punk that oozes attitude problems and reckless behavior while sweeping the floor with tightly wound songs full of razor-sharp hooks and punch-your-face-in guitar playing. This 7” could have fit in nicely on Hostage Records. –Daryl Gussin (No Front Teeth)

A Waste of Time and Space: CD
I really love this CD. It strikes me as an intersection of the jerky white guy art funk of the Minutemen, the more frantic tunes from Nomeansno, and the sparse/loud dynamics of I Hate Myself. All this is topped off with lyrical input that could very well come from all the aforementioned bands. When tightly wound art punk like this is pulled off right, there is nothing better to me, and these guys fucking nail it. All the more impressive is that this is a two piece. Bands like the Minutemen, Nomeansno, Devo, and the Urninals get me really excited, because they make the type of odd and offbeat but punk as fuck music that I wish I was playing. To me, this band gets the same facilities all worked up as those bands do, which is rare. There’s a lot of music I love, but bands that are both challenging, genuinely enjoyable, and somehow oddly different are a rare breed, but these guys do it for me. Plus you gotta admire a band that has the balls to name one of their songs “The Best Song Ever.” –Adrian (Joyful Noise)

Gittin’ Loose with...: CD
Punk played with a country twang, or country played with punk ferocity. Either way, they do a good job of it. Tuneful, driving, and solid. These guys really hit their stride mid way through this disc with songs like “Pick Axe,” “Prom Night at the Burn Clinic,” and the piano-driven “Oh, The Places You’ll Stay.” A lot of broken hearts and alcohol consumption going on, along with some soul searching. –Matt Average (A.D.D., myspace.com/addrecords)

Man in the Woods b/w Foxhole Madness: 7”
The a-side sounds like an ultra-trebly, lo-fi Memphis garage punk version of Supertramp. The b-side sounds like the Small Faces, if they were one foot tall aliens with big yellow heads and their eyes on stalks. There is strange potential in this music, but i am quite unable to articulate that any further. I thought that perhaps wearing the 45 sleeve as a hat of sorts would stimulate my articulateness, but, after some time so engaged, that avenue turned out to be a bit conceptually hollow. BEST SONG: “Man in the Woods,” i think. It sounds so dramatic and foreboding! Unfortunately, i can decipher no words, leaving me to invent my own story, likely involving wolves and gingerbread. BEST SONG TITLE: I’ll say “Foxhole Madness,” because it doesn’t remind me of “Boys in the Trees” by Carly Simon. FANTASTIC AMAZING TRIVIA FACT: The cover art was taken from an ad for Lucky Products, Inc.’s 100 Piece Toy Soldier Set, which ran on the back page of Forever People #11 ((among others)), Oct.-Nov. 1972. Made of durable plastic, each with its own base! –Rev. Norb (Rob’s House)

Self-titled: 7”
I’m speechless at how kick ass this Love Tan record is. It ranges from cacophonous and absurd (“This Land Is No Good”) to brilliant lo-fi rocker (“Brush Your Teeth”) to strange, electro performance art soundtrack (“Berlin Rumble Part 1”)…and that’s just the first side! Side two includes two of the best songs I’ve heard in the past couple of years. “Horse” is clearly the anti-hit, a dark, drugged-out, overcast tune with brief flashes of brilliant electric Albini guitar freak out and weird, impenetrable lyrics. “Ring Ring” closes the record with a lolling, bizarre vocal delivery and the best guitar riff you’ll hear all year. This record is all over the place stylistically, yet manages to remain cohesive in its sound. Definitely one of the top 5 7”es released in ‘08. –Josh Benke (Sweet Rot)

Nightmare Creep b/w Liquor Store: 7”
Über lo-fi from Britain that’s more stripped down than the Gories and noisier. No bass, just hollerin’ and beatin’. –Jessica Thiringer (Yakisakana Reds)

One Voice Over the Airwaves: CDEP
Taunt, metal-tinged punk from this Aussie outfit. Another well produced mix from the folks at the Blasting Room makes this a sonic sundae that hits the spot. “The Priest Verses the Beast” is a catchy sing-along that even boasts a sample from Pump up the Volume (the only decent flick Christian Slater ever did). Expect to hear more from this band as they try and make us forget about Kylie Minogue. –Sean Koepenick (Pee)

The Altamont Sin: CD
Starting off with a partial (and oddly fitting) cover of Joy Division’s “No Love Lost,” they soon head back to stomping much more familiar Stooges/MC5-soaked terra for them, throwing in more than a little overdriven trash rock and punk influences to keep things wailing. Just when it starts to feel like this subgenre’s seen better days, these guys come along and infuse it with some solid tuneage and more than enough attitude. Lords? Not just a clever name, in this case. –Jimmy Alvarado (Gearhead)

Back from the Pink Room: LP
A fancy, high production re-issue of Tampa, Florida’s Pink Lincoln’s first studio record from 1988. If you’ve never heard of them before, think Angry Samoans, Vindictives, and split releases with The Queers and Screeching Weasel in the early ‘90s. If that doesn’t help, think of a rusty knife stabbing you in the ear by a bunch of snotty malcontents whose Ramones pop sensibilities are as evident as their unresolved hostility issues. If songs were cars, the Pink Lincolns would be spray painted, on blocks, and in a weeded front yard. The stereo would work and there’d be a functioning BBQ where the gas tank used to be. Life’s pretty shitty, and it gave the Pink Lincolns a lot to sing about. A welcome reissue. –Todd Taylor (Jailhouse, www.myspace.com/pinklincolns)

Outlaw Man: CD
P. Paul Fenech’s LRD have perfected twanging, reverb-heavy spaghetti western guitars and trademark growling, dirty, makes-me-want-to-be-bitten baritone/bass vocals. Although about half of the tracks on this album are exemplary covers (Danzig, Johnny Cash), Fenech’s original tunes are equally excellent and maintain continuity. I didn’t even have to listen to this (but I did) because I know this album forward and backward—hands down the best cover of “Jackson” and one of my standing favorite albums of all time. Cherry Red reissue, #74 in the psychobilly series. –Jessica Thiringer (Cherry Red)

Hardcore Hell: 7"
Bombastic hardcore from these Tokyo, Japan thrashers. Full-on distortion, blown-out bass lines and thundering drums blast out of the speakers. Vocals that remind me of Lip Cream and the Stalin. Music that has the noisiness of Exclaim meets Disclose yet it still retains an underlying structure of solid music. Not for timid ears because this stuff is not pretty. This is the second press issued out of Germany. The first press, I read, sold out fast. The way things sound, I think this release will also go out of print quickly. –Donofthedead (Heart First)

Self-titled: CD
Katjonband is a collaboration between Kat from the Ex, and Jon Langford from the Mekons. Those familiar with both bands know this is something that deserves to be checked out. There are obviously traces of both bands in here, but, overall, these two have created something of their own. The songs have a stripped-down quality about them. At the same time, there are a few things going on to make it more than something straightforward. A piano comes in and out in the songs, the drums shuffle and bounce, and the guitar is serene and clean, then noisy and jagged other times. Moods range from dark to light, and somewhere in the middle. I can’t get these songs out of my head. –Matt Average (Carrot Top)

An Eternity of Love: CD
I do believe that this is the most awesomest singer/songwriter record that I’ve heard in a month of Sundays. Imagine Tom Waits meets Rob Zombie with a dose of German expressionist painting thrown in for flavor. Visceral and highly nutritious. –The Lord Kveldulfr (Glorious)

Back to Monkey City: CD
Hot damn, a new Jeff Dahl full length is here! Always a big event round this household and this new one is a rager. A heaping helpin’ of ‘70s rock in the mix and the band is really gelling after a few releases together. This new one is turbocharged and sounding better than ever. More than twenty full lengths later, I still can’t get enough Dahl hooks and licks. Once again, this is a perfect cocktail of the last fifty years of rock’n’roll mixed up and firing on all cylinders. Amazing songs, killer guitar tone, and great vocals; what more can a rocker ask for? –Mike Frame (Steel Cage)

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